Julie Dommett, UK Marketing Manager for Hayter and Toro, says: “When it comes to garden care, lawn maintenance is central and makes or breaks the appearance of your outdoor space. Initially to ensure the best way to get the most out of your turf – once bedded in and watered for 28 days – is to determine what kind of terrain you will be maintaining. Is your lawn on a steep slope perhaps, is it a large space to tackle, or are there many obstacles to negotiate?
“To take on the turf, there are a wide range of methods, and equipment, that will enable you to create a lush lawn with classic, stunning stripes – suitable for traditionally-designed homes and architecturally-modern properties.
“First, be sure to remove any unwanted additions to your lawn, you want your grass to be free of any leaves or moss. After raking the lawn, a great way to prepare and then maintain your lawn is with the use of a Scarifier. This garden tool cuts through the soil and removes debris, including grass cuttings, which improves the health of your soil and keeps weeds at bay.
“When it comes to ongoing maintenance of your outside areas, the type of lawn you have will determine the type of mower you need. For a formal lawn, a Hayter rear roller mower is ideal, while a family space needing to be neat and tidy is suited to a four-wheeled mower with extra manoeuvrability. For large lawns with slopes or obstacles, opt for self-propelled mowers, such as the Toro All Wheel Drive mower, with drive systems distributing the right amount of traction where needed, or a Zero Turn ride-on mower, which increases coverage speed as well as offering manoeuvrability. Using the correct mower will ensure turf remains healthy and your lawn will look neat and tidy.
“For the larger outdoor areas or for those landscaping areas still to be completed, specialist equipment may be required. Toro Siteworks equipment, such as the Dingo Compact Loader, has 35 attachments allowing the user to utilise the necessary tool for the task at hand – whether that be clearing debris using a bucket attachment, to moving trees using a tree stump. These products can be hired, if the use is not required permanently.”
Upcoming garden trends for the year ahead
The winter months are a great time to plan out what to do with your garden when the weather starts to warm up. Here are some predictions from garden specialist, Oeco Garden Rooms, of what will be big in the coming year.
Fed up with back-breaking mulching, pruning, trimming and endless lawn mowing that it takes to maintain a traditional garden? Many people are now turning to a more natural landscape by planting low care shrubs, grass and perennials. This relaxed attitude to gardening can produce a plethora of colours and textures to create a natural landscape which needs very little maintenance.
Berry bushes grown in containers
Strawberries, blueberries and raspberries are all great additions to any garden, but if you don’t have the space for a large bush, why not try growing them in pots. Growing berries in pots doesn’t require much space, they can be moved to different parts of the garden if needed and are easier to maintain than larger bushes; it’s also a great way of getting the whole family involved in gardening.
Growing your own herbs
Herbs are among the easiest plants to plant and grow requiring very little tending. Herbs can be grown in small pots on the windowsill or in bigger pots outside. Whichever herbs you choose to grow, you will know that you are getting fresh and flavour-packed herbs that are free from pesticides.
Garden rooms have become a popular choice for homeowners who want to extend their living space without having to build a lengthy and expensive extension or loft conversion. Garden rooms can be used as hobby rooms, home studios or even home offices and because these structures are fully insulated, they can be used all year round.
In this modern age, it was inevitable that technology would be integrated into the garden, and now there are a wide range of hi-tech gadgets available to help you create the perfect garden. From smart apps that remind you to water your plants and probes that tell you the health of your garden, to smart lights that create ambient environments, technology has really moved on in the last couple of years and as these technology brands advance, so will the health of your garden.
Suzi Cowen, European Sales Coordinator at TigerTurf UK, discusses why artificial grass can provide an alternative option.
“Artificial grass is the obvious solution for locations where natural grass struggles to thrive, provided the owners of the property don’t succumb to the common misconception that once installed, the area will become completely maintenance-free. “While an artificial lawn takes much less looking after than a natural equivalent, there are a number of recommendations that will help to safeguard against harsh weather conditions and heavy use. Not only will a maintenance regime maximise the lifespan of the grass, but it will also help to sustain the product’s appearance.
“As with any lawn, it’s important to ensure that artificial grass is kept clean and so leaves, sticks and other garden debris should be removed as regularly as possible. It’s important to groom the lawn, especially after periods of high usage as a rake or brush will help to lift the pile and redistribute the sand to keep the grass looking at its best.
“Weeds can also be a common concern in any garden, but if the grass is installed with a geotextile underlay, weeds will be unable to penetrate the turf surface. In the unlikely event that weeds do penetrate the surface however, a light weed killer can be used without any risk of damage to the appearance or structure of the turf. We recommend that users consult the manufacturer to find the most appropriate solution for each surface. As you might water natural turf at the end of any hot summer’s day, it is also possible to water artificial grass as well; this will aid with cooling the surface and help remove any foreign bodies if pets are present.
“One factor that should never be underestimated is the importance of choosing the right turf from the very start. This is because, once installed, properties such as pile height, colour and texture cannot be altered. By liaising closely with an experienced landscaping contractor, it is possible to gain a valuable insight into the full range of options available and the varying degrees of maintenance required.”